Sunday, June 16, 2019

of celebration, and mourning

Jamie Hysjulien

a woman stands and speaks of her brother,
exploring those almost mystical ties siblings can have,
she KNEW Jamie, from boy to man,
and she speaks of him as still with her, with us,
despite how sure it is that his body is gone,

the hundreds of us in the Quaker Meeting
unite to remember, to celebrate a life,
all who stand and deliver words
are historians with stories,
artists with a sketch of a moment, a time,
that is a part of the truth,
our souls open and listening
to relative after relative, student after student,
colleague, friend, each in awe of that of God in him, expressed,
of his gift to see that of God in others,
and meet it in love,
whether at Minnesota cabin and lake, or in his classroom,
or in Trinidad, where service to those most in need
allied him with other champions
“of the least of these, our brethren,”

Jamie’s intellect dared the deepest questions
and dared to seek the answers,
within himself, with his students, with colleagues,

during the meeting Jamie’s passion for music, is described,
and then celebrated in song:
“I’ll Fly Away,” and “May the Circle Be Unbroken,”

those who are moved to stand
speak of his humor, of his quirks,
of the love that flowed from him,
and then back to him, as connections deepened,

three of his exquisite poems shared by his children,

I know his children,
and how well he helped each come into themselves,
I know of the young who found him in high school,
and of how well he helped them come into themselves,

one former student speaks of his own peers in college,
not getting why the loss of a high school English teacher
would affect him so much,
how sad that intensity and meaning 
within the relationship of teacher and student
seemed beyond their experience,

how wonderful it is that Jamie worked so well to create relationships
that drew the hundreds of us today to a ceremony
to celebrate the wonder of his life,
while crying about his loss.

by Henry H. Walker
June 15, ‘19

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